Monday, January 9, 2017

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War

I'm on a Steve Sheinkin kick where I want to read anything and everything by him. I read Bomb (twice), Port Chicago, Lincoln's Grave Robbers, and now Most Dangerous all within 5 months and looking forward to his new book about Jim Thorpe this month.

He writes non-fiction in such a way that not only are you fascinated by these snippets of history but gripped into the novel like story that threads it all together. I started listening to this one and basically had it playing for hours on end. I was fascinated by the history, which I knew very little about. I listened to it on New Years Eve if that just tells you how uncool I am but how good the book was.

The quick synopsis is that Daniel Ellsberg leaked government documents (7,000 pages) about Vietnam War called "The Pentagon Papers" to the New York Times and subsequently put his life at risk to do it. These papers revealed truths that government leaders wanted to hide about their involvement in the war. Basically government was saying one thing to the American people but really doing the opposite in secret. All of Ellsberg's dealings intertwined with Watergate which we know brought down Nixon's administration.

I was listening to this interview with Sheinkin about this book and he said if this was not a true story it would almost be too much to be true; all these cast of characters and the crime centered around it. Like this really all came from the White House?

This is not only great for teens but for adults as well. It would also provide a great discussion about the secrecy in the government about how much is too much. Where do we draw the line? And to those who expose government lies, are we to congratulate them or tell them they're traitors?

Next time I want to read it instead of listening to it because if it's like his other books, he'll have some pictures which will be helpful in putting names to faces.

Either way, I highly recommend it!


  1. "Bomb" was a favorite of mine, too, but I haven't read any of his others. Now I'll have to see what good old Neill Public Library has! This one sounds really good!

  2. He he he... totally just put ALL of steve's books on hold at the library. I haven't read anything since Bomb because I haven't found anything that has interested me as much! thanks for the recommendation.